Sepp Blatter said today that he would resign from the presidency of FIFA in the wake of a corruption inquiry, an extraordinary turn just four days after he was re-elected and defiantly insisted that he was blameless and committed to cleaning up the organization.
Mr. Blatter, 79, said he would ask FIFA to schedule a new election for his replacement as soon as possible. The next FIFA congress is May 2016, but he acknowledged that the organization could not wait long for new leadership given the current situation. At a brief, hastily convened news conference in Zurich, Mr. Blatter said that “FIFA needs a profound restructuring.”“I appreciate and love FIFA more than anything else,” he said. “And I only want to do the best for FIFA.” Mr. Blatter declined to take questions after his remarks.
Mr. Blatter is regarded as the most powerful executive in sports, ruling FIFA autocratically while brushing off frequent accusations that the organization was corrupt. He has worked for FIFA since 1975, and has been president since 1998.